Prince William sent cryptic message to Harry and Meghan with Prince George photo

The portrait released to 'send a message' to the Sussex's
The portrait released to 'send a message' to the Sussex's -Credit:PA

The Royal Family often charmed their followers every Christmas with delightful family snapshots to express gratitude for their support and to ring in the holiday period.

These official festive shots have frequently been dominated by the cute Royal youngsters, and the public always embrace any glimpse of how rapidly George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie, and Lilibet are growing up.

However, a Royal author has alleged that a portrait unveiled at the New Year a few years back sparked some family discontent, implying that the photograph was crafted to deliver a message, reports the Mirror.

This disputed shot was made public in late December 2019, featuring the late Queen Elizabeth, King Charles - then Prince of Wales - along with Prince William and Prince George.

Displaying only three anticipated future monarchs at that time, it stirred up internal squabbles, apparently aiming, at least from Charles and William's viewpoint, to deliver a signal to Prince Harry and his spouse Meghan Markle, as noted by the author.

According to Royal writer Robert Lacey in his book Battle of Brothers, the photo was conceived by Charles as he wanted to articulate his longstanding desire for a "slimmed down' monarchy".

Prince Harry alongside son Archie -Credit:Internet Unknown
Prince Harry alongside son Archie -Credit:Internet Unknown

Writing for the Daily Mail, he comments: "What a fascinating and historic image to remind us of the essence of the Royal system! The current monarch with three future monarchs. All the living heirs - and not a suggestion of a 'spare'.

"The quartet of royals were pictured in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, with George and Charles elevated on a step beside William and the Queen. All were smartly attired, with young George looking charmingly mature in a white shirt and tartan trousers. This photo was released alongside a delightful video of them preparing Christmas puddings, featuring the youngest future king enthusiastically stirring the mixture.

"Harry and his son Archie were noticeably absent, due to their position further down the line of succession.

Lacey continued: "According to insiders, this formal photograph, taken in the Buckingham Palace Throne Room a week before Christmas 2019, was the idea of Prince Charles, anxious to promote his cause of the 'slimmed-down monarchy'."

Palace sources have also let it be known that the plan of depicting the direct line of Royal succession was enthusiastically supported by Prince William, which might be seen as sending his younger brother a message."

Lacey suggests that Meghan and Harry took this photo "to heart" and were upset by it.

However, most Royal experts believe this decision wasn't intended to offend the Sussexes, but rather to illustrate how the Royal family operates.

Discussing previously this year, ITV's Royal editor Chris Ship commented: "The portrait that Buckingham Palace released to mark the start of the decade.

It was the Queen and the three future kings - and there was also a bit of video of them stirring Christmas puddings.

"I'm not saying they were cutting Harry and Meghan out because it was a brutal fact that Harry was never part of that line of succession but start of a decade it felt like the royal family was very much focusing on the future - the Queen and her three heirs."

Kensington Palace has been contacted for comment.

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